Email scams are one of the oldest tricks that internet scammers use to separate you from your valuable information. While they started off as laughable pleas from far-off princes, they’re now so advanced that you might not even be able to tell they’re fake.
A security researcher recently discovered that URLs can be modified to look like they’re a legitimate website when they’re really not. Before a recent update, Chrome displayed the address https://www.xn--80ak6aa92e.com/ as https://www.apple.com — obviously a fake! While there was no real danger as this was used for testing purposes, someone could have registered this website and used it to phish users expecting to see Apple’s website.
The lesson to learn from this is simple. Never, ever click on a link in an email that you’re not expecting. If you get a message claiming to be from your bank about suspicious activity, don’t click on anything in the email. Enter the website directly into your address bar, use a bookmark in your browser, or search Google for the name of the site. This will ensure you land on the real page and not a fake.
If you would have moused over the link in this fake email, it would have appeared as apple.com due to the flaw in Chrome and other browsers. Even people who are skeptical might have been fooled since there was apparently no danger from this site. It’s so much safer to never directly click on email links.
Now that you’ve renewed your email security, make sure you aren’t spamming your own contacts!
Have you ever been tricked by a phishing email? Share your stories with us in the comments!
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